The marathon takes place on uneven gravel road and ice.
The run starts about 4km from the ice sheet and follows the gravel road onto the ice sheet itself.
Coming back up from the ice and passing the starting point you have approximately 32km left to the finish line in Kangerlussuaq. It must be noted that although the road is gravel, it is likely to be covered in a layer of snow.
With endless ice and snow as your backdrop, your 42.2 kilometres will never seem so short especially when passing glacier tongues, moraine landscapes and echoes of the arctic desert.. If you are lucky you may also see reindeer and musk oxen grazing along the route. The terrain is hilly all the way with the steepest ascents being the climb coming off the ice sheet and the approximately 75m-high climb 5km before the finish line. From the ice sheet to the finish line, however, the route has an overall descent of approximately 500m.
The marathon finish line is located in front of Polar Lodge in the northern part of Kangerlussuaq.
Have you thought about extending your stay? Check out our amazing optional tours to make your holiday the trip of a lifetime.
The Polar Circle Marathon was very easy to book and organise through Travelling Fit. It surpassed my expectations and the team on the ground were amazing. Heaps of good food. The event was superbly run and had an amazing experience. I also did the post event tour of Illulisat which I highly recommend it. It was simply amazing!
I wanted to say a big thank you for all your help in getting me to the Polar Circle Marathon. I really appreciated all your help, you were wonderful. It was the most challenging marathon I have ever done and at the same time I had the most amazing experience, I will never forget it! I am so happy to have completed both races and very proudly received my Polar Bear Challenge medal.
Thank you so much for getting me to the Polar Circle Marathon. You were very helpful and always quick to answer questions and respond to enquiries. The hotel in Copenhagen was in a good location and had good services. As for the marathon, it was simply awesome, what a great experience! Of the companies I have used I find Travelling Fit the most reliable provider of running tour packages. I’m very much looking forward to running London and New York with you guys next year.
What an amazing experience. I wanted to say a big thank you for helping me get to Greenland and for organising everything so smoothly. Once again thank you and WOW doesn't even start to explain the time I had there.
Thank you and your team for arranging the Polar Circle Marathon tour for me. It was a great event which more than exceeded my expectations. The run itself was spectacular, the guides and support crew in Copenhagen and Greenland were exceptional and the camaraderie amongst the runners from 34 different countries was sensational. I appreciate your help and professionalism.
Flights and Additional Travel
Travelling Fit is a fully accredited travel agency which offers a full range of services to our clients. This enables us to book your flights and additional touring to help us assist you in creating your perfect holiday experience.
The entry fee for the Polar Circle Marathon is included in the cost of your package.
There are no qualifying times required for the Polar Circle Marathon.
Please note, however, that to participate in the marathon, runners must be minimum 18 years of age on race day.
The Polar Circle Marathon is scheduled to start at 8:30am
There is a 7 hour cut-off for this event.
Runners still on the route after the cut-off time will be picked up by a race official or medical car and driven back to the finish area.
The races will be timed by Ultimate Sport Service using BIB-chip.
The BIB-chip is attached on the back of the bib number and will record each runners net finishing time.
All international participants will receive their race bags at the airport in Copenhagen before we depart to Greenland. Your bag will contain your race t-shirt, start bibs, and race belt, as well as information on the route, schedule, and itinerary.
There are no official pace setters for the Polar Circle Marathon
There will be water supplies approximately every 5 kilometres.
All drink stations serve water (warm) and at selected stations you will also receive warm elder flower cordial.
There are no toilets along the route – meaning you will find a toilet … toilet paper is available at all water stations.
Remember that we run in wild and unspoiled nature and cups, empty bottles and other rubbish should be put in the litter bags at the water stations – please do not litter!
Personal Refreshments and Clothing
You can bring personal supplies and extra clothes for the race. Personal supply stations will be situated at the 10km, 21km and 30km mark.
Personal supplies must be delivered at the starting area clearly marked with the runner’s bib number and name.
Be aware that any special supplies (gels, bars, drinks etc.) that you may need during the race should be brought from home.
While sports and running shops in Copenhagen will have a variety of foods and drinks for running you will not find such items in Greenland. Be aware that gels are likely to freeze.
Transport is included in the price of the package for all competitors on race day.
There will not be an expo.
Finishers T-shirts, Medals and Certificates
All runners who complete their distance within the time limit will receive a medal and finishers t-shirt.
A small, symbolic award will be presented to the top three finishers in each race (marathon, half marathon and Polar Bear Challenge) in the male and female categories.
Finisher photos and other race images will be available after the race. Some race images will also be available in the gallery.
A finisher’s certificate will be available for free download after the event.
The weather in Greenland is always unpredictable!
On average we expect the temperature to be minus 15-10 degrees Celsius when the marathon is started. As the sun rises the temperature will typically rise to minus 10-5 degrees Celsius.
Snow may occur, but Kangerlussuaq is known for its stable and relatively comfortable climate with little precipitation.
Once again we stress that the weather in Greenland is unpredictable, so be prepared for even colder weather, strong winds and snow.
Polar Bear Challenge – Take on the challenge and run the Marathon on the Saturday and Half Marathon on the Sunday!
Polar Circle Polar Bear Challenge – Cherie HughesThe Polar Circle Polar Bear Challenge (1/2 & full marathon) in Greenland was the most difficult and challenging adventure runs I have ever undertaken. While scrolling through various ½ ...
The Polar Circle Polar Bear Challenge (1/2 & full marathon) in Greenland was the most difficult and challenging adventure runs I have ever undertaken. While scrolling through various ½ marathon travelling tours on the Travelling Fit website I came across trip information on the Polar Circle ½ Marathon. At the time (while living in sunny Cooktown, Far North Queensland) I thought this would be great fun, a real adventure. Little did I know!!!
I did my usual training preparation for a ½ marathon. While certainly not a top runner (in fact very average) I have always completed the ½ marathons I have entered in the past. Therefore, I had a confident attitude towards my training. I had yet to compete in a full marathon and I had no intention of entering one, however Greenland changed everything.
The big question for me at the time was (and I know it sounds girly) “what do I wear?” This question became vital! Gaiters, water proof woollen socks, snow glasses and heavy duty gloves are essential.
In Oct 2014 I packed up my running gear and began my very long journey (with many stop-overs) to Greenland. Stepping off the plane the -11c temperature was stingingly cold (although if you listened to the locals at the time, they would have told you it was warm, darn right tropical even!) It hurt to breath and any exposed skin was instantly painfully cold. Upon arrival in Greenland the 170 or so runners were divided up into groups. I was part of the Old Camp group. This international group of people were/are amazing, supportive and inspirational. I was so humbled and pleased to be a part of this team.
On the day after we arrived the Old Camp team had the opportunity to inspect the race route. We travelled in a nice warm bus along the route to the start. The ice cap, which was the first 6ks of both races. We were all like excited kids allowed out to play in the snow. I had a great time as we trudged through the snow, slipping and sliding on the ice. It was a lovely day.
The day of the ½ marathon dawned with the participants from Old Camp already up and eagerly pacing, ready to get started! The bus to take us to the start line arrived and we all piled in. A couple of navy seals bought loud speakers along and we all sang classic rock. Nothing like a little Queen (we will rock you) to help motivate!
As we get closer to the start line it becomes apparent that there was a heavy fall of snow overnight. It was almost a complete whiteout.
As the race participants of the ½ marathon climbed out of the bus and crowded together at the start line it began to snow in earnest. I was beginning to wish I had a pair of snow googles instead of sunglasses. As we all began to run the extra snow on the ground and the falling snow combined affected my depth perception, I felt off balance. Running through knee deep snow, slipping and sliding on the ice cap was no longer fun.
It was the hardest and longest 6k start I have ever undertaken in a ½ marathon. The cold air (-15c) hurt as my throat as I tried to regulate my breathing. The falling snow felt like needles spearing into my eyes. Once off the ice cap I tried to make up for lost time, however the “road” was an icy snow covered dirt and rocky track. I found that I could not run at my normal pace due to the icy and uneven path.
I finally crossed the finish line for the ½ marathon (sadly well below my personal best time). I had never been so physically and mentally exhausted. I struggled to breathe and I was cold to my bones.
However, after a very hot shower I was speaking with my fellow Old Camp mates who had done the most amazing and inspirational runs all around the world and their enthusiasm was contagious. I thought to myself “why not do the full marathon the next day as well?” So I signed up for my first ever full marathon. I honestly never expected to even finish, but it I did (I was the last female to finish the full marathon). However I was also the first Australian female to complete both races.
The full marathon seemed to be (dare I say) easier than the day before. The weather conditions seemed more tolerable and I knew what pace I could set to once I hit the “road”. I was really happy with my first ever marathon.
The Polar Circle half & full marathon was the most amazing experience I have ever embarked on and I am so grateful for the opportunity to have participated in the ‘Coolest Marathon on the Planet’.
Polar Circle MarathonGREENLAND IS THE MOST AMAZING PLACE! The landscape was a vast expanse of white on white as we flew into Kangerlussuaq airport. I asked my mother to join me for the trip as a spectator as she has an...
GREENLAND IS THE MOST AMAZING PLACE!
The landscape was a vast expanse of white on white as we flew into Kangerlussuaq airport. I asked my mother to join me for the trip as a spectator as she has an adventurous spirit and is my biggest supporter. We were looking forward to experiencing something really different and our hopes were exceeded many times over.
The day before the race, we drove over the route in heated 4WD vehicles. Reaching the icecap we unloaded to feel the full force of the cold at around -15 that day. I’m not sure if it comforted or worried the competitors having seen the spectacular beauty and technical difficulty of the icecap but I know that my heart was pounding as I drifted off to sleep that night.
On race day there were 47 men and 14 women running the marathon and 17 in the half marathon. After a brief warm up the start line was set up, the countdown started and away we went. The first 4km was an undulating climb with a very strong wind gust blasting us on one section until we hit the powder snow on the icecap itself. The spikes on my shoes gripped the glacier ice really well and the deep snow was a challenge and soon enough I face-planted on one section thinking it would have looked hilarious to the runners behind. The sun rising over the snow dunes was stunning and I took a moment to take it all in.
After the icecap loop the course headed back to town over a snow covered gravel road, undulating many times and passing frozen rivers, lakes, snow dusted mountains and glacier tongues. It was incredibly surreal to be running in this beautiful arctic wilderness.
Every 5km had a manned vehicle with hot blackberry drinks and energy bars and were a welcome sight as we not only refuelled but received encouraging words and bright smiles. Approaching the last kilometre the town was clearly visible and an overwhelming feeling of achievement flooded my senses. My mum was standing on the finish line and as I crossed it heard that I was the 2nd female to finish which was a real thrill as I didn’t know who was ahead of me. Mum cried as she hugged me and it was a moment in time I will never forget.
The camaraderie amongst the other competitors from around the world was fantastic and I’ve made some new friends to catch up with at future overseas races. The celebration dinner the following night was a lot of fun and capped off an amazing experience which will remain one of the highlights of my life.
Welcome to Greenland
Ice as far as the eye beholds. Impossibly beautiful, blue skies. Incredibly fresh air. Musk oxen and arctic foxes on the stark landscape of the arctic tundra.
Yes, Greenland is one of the most remote corners of the world. Feel the soft crunch of snow beneath your shoes while running through the arctic desert and Greenland ice cap. Immerse yourself in this rare and exceptional natural beauty.
The Polar Circle Marathon is the perfect way to combine a special running event with exploring one of the most remote and beautiful corners of the world. This will undoubtedly be the coolest experience of your life!
Travelling Fit is delighted to offer you a 5 Day / 4 Night Package and as an accredited travel agency we provide a full range of services to our clients. This enables us to book your flights and additional touring to help us assist you in creating your perfect holiday experience.
IMPORTANT NOTE: Due to early/late flight times in and out of Copenhagen to Kangerlussuaq, we strongly recommend that you purchase pre and post nights in Copenhagen. Please speak to our sales team for best flight connections and pre/post nights.
- Guaranteed Race Entry (Runners Only)
- Return flights from Copenhagen to Kangerlussuaq including airport taxes
- 4 Nights Accommodation:
Check in: Thu 28 Oct - Check out: Mon 01 Nov 2021
- Meals as per the itinerary
- Welcome gathering in Copenhagen (27 October 2021)
- 3 hour Guided hike to Mt Hassel
- Route Inspection to the ice cap
- Transfer to the race start (runners only)
- English Speaking Tour Leader
- Celebration Dinner and Awards Ceremony
- Personalised Travelling Fit Running Top
exclusive to Travelling Fit clients
- Invite to Travelling Fit's Polar Circle Marathon Closed Facebook Group
exclusive to Travelling Fit clients
|$300 per Runner.|
|With Preliminary Deposit: $1100 per Runner and $1100 per Supporter|
If adding the Ilulissat Extension Tour please add $600 per person as a deposit
|Without Preliminary Deposit: $1400 per Runner and $1100 per Supporter|
If adding the Ilulissat Extension Tour please add $600 per person as a deposit
|$600 per Runner and per Supporter due Friday 12 March 2021|
|Monday 19 July 2021|